TOP 10 X-MEN UNIVERSE ACTION FIGURES (Mania.com)
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
The time has come and X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is upon us! The classic maxi-series from the 80’s has now made it to the big screen and it appears that it will take a Godzilla type bite out of the holiday weekend box office. With veteran helmer Bryan Singer in the directors chair, the new X-movie is generating some serious buzz from critics. While disappointed that there is no toy line for the new flick, it gave us at MANIA a chance to scour through years of popular (and some not so popular) choices for our top mutant figures of the modern era. It was a tall order to narrow the list down to ten choices and most of the picks are of the more recent times of heavy detail, high points of articulation and overall coolness. Plus there is only one Wolverine on the list! Buckle up and enter the Maniacs version of the Danger Room to see the top picks of X-figure goodness.
10. NEW MARVEL LEGENDS STRYFE
OK so this beauty is not on the market yet but it will make its debut as a Toys R Us Exclusive this summer. Finally we get a Stryfe figure with all the bells and whistles. The evil clone of Nathan Summers (Jean Grey & Scott Summers’ infant child) who acts as a possible host for the omnipotent Apocalypse is finally here in Legends form. Once Apocalypse learns that the infant is a clone, he balks to share his life force and pawns off the child to his number two, Ch’vayre. Stryfe becomes a crazed evil force that grows up wanting revenge on both Jean and Scott as well as Apocalypse. He goes on to become a psychotic terrorist while building his own army in his alternative timeline. It is great to see a random character get plucked from obscurity and dipped into plastic for its Marvel Legends debut. Well worth the wait.
9. NEW MARVEL LEGENDS PHOENIX FORCE CYCLOPS (Unreleased)
While it is a major bummer that HASBRO really dropped the ball on this release, it has become one of those figures that you hear exists but has never been found. Truth be told this Variant figure never hit the shelves of toy stores adding to its mystique as an apparition of the toy world. I have seen one, yes just one, go for sale on eBay for a whopping $1238! Apparently someone got a sample figure from the HASBRO people and they cashed in big time. Ripped from the AVX storyline of MARVEL Comics where Cyclops is taken by the cosmic Phoenix force, this is the greatest Cyclops figure that never was.
8. MARVEL SELECT ZOMBIE MAGNETO
Since the world seems to be on zombie overload, it is appropriate that the X-MEN’s flagship baddie gets its due in figure form. Rather than the same old Magneto that we’ve seen a hundred times, MARVEL Select goes and makes Magneto into a supremely cool undead zombie. Taking a cue from their previously released zombie figures like Spider-Man, Hulk and Captain America, this captures everything we want in a figure by mashing up two genres into one. Slated to be released in September, now is a good time to pre-order this piece before the undead collectors beat you to it.
7. MARVEL SELECT GAMBIT
So the casting of Channing Tatum as Gambit is a little farcical and will surely awake the Kracken of internet ire on every message board. Not much we can do but sit back and hope. Live action aside, Gambit is still the ragin’ Cajun and this terrific is worth the price for your collection. The mutant created by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee continues to be a fan favorite and MARVEL Select does a top notch job with its iteration in plastic form. Not only do you get streaks of purple kinetic energy but the figure is also replete with his famous playing cards and staff. Very cool bonus points there. As for the live action version of the silver tongued mutant, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. A steal at just $25.
6. MARVEL LEGENDS WARPATH (X-FORCE & REGULAR X-MEN)
Warpath has always been one of my favorite under the radar characters. While he probably could not handle a solo comic book series, he is still one of the coolest X-Men around. With his superhuman speed and strength, James Proudstar is another roster member of the X-Men that deserved his due in toys. Fortunately Toys R Us released two different Warpath’s back in 2009 featuring both the classic costume and the X-Force uniform. Added bonus: You get the VHTF Deadpool figure in both regular red and turquoise suit. However, you will have to shell out major bucks to get this Warpath mint in package and brand new. Definitely one of the coolest figures and characters in the X-Universe. Look to cough up close to $200 for the X-Force two pack and around $150 for the other set.
5. SDCC EXCLUSIVES MARVEL UNIVERSE GIANT SIZE SENTINEL
The 2011 San Diego Comic Con was especially good to toy junkies the world over with the release of Giant Size MARVEL Universe Sentinel. Finally we had a towering Sentinel to wreak havoc over the rest of our MARVEL Universe figures! While Toys R Us released a darker version months after the Con, it does not catch the premium price that the SDCC one does. With the awesome appearance of the Sentinel’s in the new X-flick, the giant robots are sure to take a price hike on the secondary market should the movie do boffo box office. You should be able to nab one of these for a little more than $100 but be sure that you know which one you are purchasing.
4. X-MEN CLASSICS NIGHTCRAWLER
Everyone’s favorite German mutant enters the list in a prime spot after I made a call to arms to some friends asking for their favorite X-figures. A true mutant, born with a physical mutated dark blue/purplish skin, a tail and the ability to teleport, Nightcrawler has been a fan favorite since the character’s inception back in ’75. The overlooked X-MEN CLASSICS line of toys produced some of the best X-figures of the modern era but never took off the way MARVEL LEGENDS did. Complete with a sword and a bunch of other accessories, this figure is especially hard to locate carded. If you get lucky he goes for about $60-$70 bucks on eBay.
3. X-MEN CLASSICS AVALANCHE
Avalanche is perhaps my favorite and most overlooked bad guy mutant. While their are not a heck of a lot of Avalanche figures out there, this one is the gold standard and a major White Whale at that. I have never seen one of these on the pegs in all my years of toy collecting! Avalanche’s abilities are pretty cool and is a one man wrecking crew able to create seismic vibrations causing disasters similar to earthquakes and yes, an avalanche. Very aptly named mutant if I ever saw one. Avalanche was recruited by Mystique to be part of the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants but his origin is very much a mystery. Add all of that and a pretty awesome suit, Avalanche is one dope looking figure. Be ready to spend between $75 & $100 for this gem.
2. MARVEL LEGENDS UNMASKED WOLVERINE VARIANT
I came across this figure once back in 2003 for about $12 at a KMART and flipped it online for $278! However I still am upset with myself for letting this piece go. The X-Men’s flagship hero who has become iconic in every way in comics and onscreen was originally released in the third wave of MARVEL LEGENDS. While it does not have that feral look that Wolverine’s original costume had, this figure encapsulates all of Logan’s qualities. That is to say total badassery in action figure form. Claws popped and an angry grin, Unmasked Wolverine is a heck of a lot of fun for both the serious and casual collector. You can nab him for around $50 which is an absolute steal for a figure this old. Snikt indeed.
1. SDCC ’12 ARCHANGEL
This SDCC exclusive evaded my capture for a while but I eventually found it only to lose it in a trade. Hindsight is always 20/20 especially in figure collecting…its a jungle out there. The heart and soul of this SDCC ’12 three-pack (along with Psylocke & Wolverine), is clearly the winner of this Top 10 list. Its a little upsetting that you cannot get the Archangel alone and on a card but you take what you can get. The Apocalypse created character looks especially awesome in his X-FORCE duds with an awesome wingspan and amazing posing ability. Archangel figures, no matter what the uniform type, seem to always go for a premium on the secondary market. Add that to the fact that this was a Con exclusive and you have a real winner here if you procured one. To get it mint on card, you will have to purchase it with the other two figures in the three-pack and that will run you close to $200 if not higher. It’s all about the exclusives in the world of figures. It was an easy choice to put this baby at number one. Now if I can just find one again…